World Fair Trade Day happens each year on the second Saturday of May. This global event aims to draw attention to the objectives and achievements of the Fair Trade Movement.
The Fair Trade Movement campaigns to improve the lives of workers, typically from a developing economy, that suffer from unfair treatment, less than decent working conditions and wages severely below the minimum standard which makes life for them unquestionably harder. There are millions of people around the world who suffer from these unfavourable conditions, therefore we must do something to fight for these people’s lives as everyone deserves basic human rights and respect.
This movement invites consumers to participate in its campaign by choosing Fair Trade alternatives to existing products.
Did you know that Swedish fashion retailer H&M faced allegations of neglect in regard to workers’ rights across its various production factories? H&M is reported to use child labour in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Cambodia, paying as little as 13 pence an hour. When average living costs are about $628 a month for a single person without the costs of rent. H&M should be ashamed of themselves!
More companies should adopt the following values and make it a standard procedure for all.
World Fair Trade Organization’s top ten priorities:
Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
Transparency and accountability
Fair trading practices
Ensuring no child labour and forced labour
Commitment to non-discrimination, gender equity, and freedom of association
Ensuring good working conditions
Providing capacity building
Promoting fair trade
Respect for the environment
This year the theme is focused on tackling the climate crisis through Climate Justice. The aim is to deliver fair, inclusive and sustainable solutions to people who are suffering the effects of the climate crisis while addressing the root causes of climate change.
We are facing a global ecological breakdown as a result of companies prioritizing profit over people. The overproduction of goods that are made out of fossil fuels is emitting dangerous amounts of carbon and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Subsequently, mass production is directly affecting the waste and pollution crisis and the people affected by it most are usually the ones who are least responsible.
We need to address the climate crisis together and not only focus on how much carbon we are emitting, but also take into account the people who are suffering because of it and offer sustainable solutions. If it’s not fair, it’s not a solution.
How to celebrate World Fair Trade Day
Research: A great way to celebrate World Fair Trade Day is by first educating yourself about this day. Clicking and reading this blog is already a great start! However, go deeper into researching the work conditions of people around the world. You might be shocked about how people are forced to live and what their daily life looks like in comparison to yours. Self-awareness about what it means to be fair and realizing the existing problem is the first step to starting any change. So don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that self-awareness is something to be proud of!
Spread awareness: The next step would be to raise awareness among your family and friends. Use your social media platform to boost the idea of climate justice and inequality around the world using the hashtag #LetsDoItFair. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014? That could be you starting a worldwide chain reaction to starting a movement to help solve unfair practices.
Create a personal goal: Is there a problem that you are most passionate about? That could help you create your own personal goal. For example, you could start a fundraiser or stop supporting companies that aren’t producing Fair Trade products. Don’t you want to spend your hard-earned money on companies that truly care about the welfare of their employees?
Support Fair Trade Businesses: Do you enjoy online shopping? Luckily for you, there is a solution to support Fair Trade businesses by doing online shopping. If you visit the Fair Trade Federation, you can find over 200 verified fair trade businesses that are all fully committed to equitable and sustainable trade. Check it out and maybe you will find something stylishly sustainable!
Attend a (virtual) event: This goes hand in hand with the research element. On World Fair Trade Day there will be virtual and/or physical events which you can attend. This is a great way to get inspired and moved by leaders or professionals who are driving social innovation and sustainability. You can also connect with these organizers and explore the idea of getting involved or helping the global community. It never hurts to ask and showing initiative is often admirable. These communities are almost always looking for volunteers, be part of the change you want to see!
Why is World Fair Trade Day so important?
Encourage implementation of fairer practices
Promotes sustainable innovation
For farmers and workers, Fairtrade means workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay. For shoppers, it means high-quality, ethically produced products. Choosing Fair Trade means standing with farmers for fairness and equality, against some of the biggest challenges the world faces.
World Fair Trade Dates
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